Jan 29, 2010

ECF - Thinking of Spring Edition

The temperatures took a serious dive overnight but, thanks to a certain new knit which is finally dry, I am warm. I'll try to get pictures this weekend.

As we prepare for possible snow this evening I'm thinking os Spring so I trolled my photo archives for a picture to put us in the right frame of mind.


Enjoy your weekend!

Jan 28, 2010

Decisions, decisions

Last night was the information session on the International Baccalaureate program at DQ's school. As a rising 9th grader it's apparently time for us to start making decisions about what type of diploma she wants to work towards. It comes as a surprise to us both.

I'm also making other very important decisions.. like what to knit for the Ravelympics and what team to compete on. I actually know exactly what my Ravelympics project will be - stranded mittens. This was a goal of mine for 2010 so it's the perfect challenge and after much consiceration, I've already found a pattern. Yay! I'll be making a pair of Ruba'iyat Mittens in one of the following combinations of yarn.

DSC_0985The first possibility is Araucania Ranco Multi in Copper Glow with some black KP Essential in Soot. I think that the high degree of contrast would make the pattern pop but would it pop too much?

DSC_0989The other possibility is to pair the same Araucania with some Louet Gems in a color thats very close to some of the tones in the vari. On the one hand, the difference between the yarns isn't nearly as pronounced so the yarns are softer together. On the other hand, I think that in places the 2 yarns may blend and I could lose pattern definition.

Fortunately I still have a few weeks to decide which way to go. What do you think? I can also use the time to ponder which team -if any - I should join.

Jan 27, 2010

Mystery Knit

My hot glue gun was once one of my favorite toys. Not anymore!
I'd love to write long, inspirational posts about my current knitting but it turns out that it's way easier to knit with a monster blister on one's right index finger than it is to type. So, to save you from an avalanche of type-os I'll just share a picture of the knit I finished last night. It's an extreme closeup but I'm guessing that many of you can figure out what it is pretty fast. I'm hoping that this will dry by tomorrow when temperatures here are supposed to dip and snow will fall once again.


Jan 26, 2010

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Ways To Get Through The Rest of Winter

There was no official topic for Ten on Tuesday so my friend Carole suggested 10 Ways To Get Through The Rest of Winter. She has such good ideas. Let me know if you'd like to be on the list for our alternate list subjects. Here's the list:

  1. Bake bread - filling your home with wonderful, inviting scents makes you feel so nice and cozy and almost makes the cold outside bearable.
  2. Read a good book. Right now I'm reading Sophie's Choice by William Styron. It's not exactly light reading but the mystery that's next on my list is.
  3. See a few good movies - remember the Oscars are coming soon. I like to see as many of the movies that are up for awards as possible.
  4. Get some pretty flowers for your table. They're a lovely reminder that spring is just around the corner.
  5. Look for and revel in the little surprises like this cardinal that I saw in my yard this morning. If the trees were full of leaves I may have missed it altogether.
  6. Cardinal
  7. Take a vacation - preferably somewhere warm.
  8. If you can't get away right now then start planning for the summer. I find that having something big to look forward to makes anything more bearable.
  9. Go skiing - Ok, maybe that's just me. Can you tell that I'm still jonesing to get on the slopes again?
  10. Have a family game night. We love this. We gather around the table an play Life, or Monopoly, or Apples to Apples while drinking hot beverages and the time just flies.
  11. Knit - it's the perfect indoor activity and you can make more wooly things to keep you warm if you are forced to go outside.

How will you get hrough the rest of the winter?

Jan 25, 2010

The Yarn Fairy

Rainy weekends suck! There's really no better way to say it than that. No matter what you do and how much you accomplish it's just unsatisfying.

This weekend we got a dress for Stinkette - black like DQ's but without the sequins and not nearly as short. We bought it at a bridal shop and I have to say I was shocked at how many people were there. It seemed as if all of Northern Virginia was getting married. Crazy!

I did a lot of knitting. It seems like admitting that my knitting had stalled did the trick and suddenly my knitting is once again in high gear. That could have something to do with yet another package of yarn arriving at my home on Friday - according to DH it was courtesy of the Yarn Fairy. If the Tooth fairy looks like The Rock then what would the Yarn Fairy look like? Anyway, it was a purchase well within my plans to curb the stash this year - yarn bought for a specific, immediate, purpose which means it won't become part of my stash. Yay!

I also made chili over the weekend. It's my second batch of the winter and it's about half gone already. That stuff is so good. After the Jets lost DH consoled himself with a nice big bowl of the stuff. He's a little bummed about the loss but he's been a Jet fan for so many years that he's used to them losing. There's always next year.

You can blame the lack of pictures on the rain. After the burst of knitting this weekend I could show you a finished sock, progress on my sweater, a finished square, or yet another project I started and nearly finished. I have pictures of none of it due to the rain and the lousy light available.

Just be glad I'm not showing you the wicked, nasty, blister I got on my index finger while using a hot glue gun. It is definitely not pretty. At least it's not slowing down the knitting.

Jan 22, 2010

Eye Candy Friday - Decorative Cabbages

I like cabbages to eat and as decoration. I know many people who don't agree and that's ok. I still like them. I've seen them in the arrangements they display in our firm every week and in planter boxes on the street. I think there is something wonderful about the texture and the colors. How do you like them?


Jan 21, 2010

Sporadic and Ramdom Posting

There has been a lot going on at home lately and it's very distracting. I can't focus on my knitting or much beyond the task at hand. I'm sure it'll get better at some point but not now. The drama necessitated DH taking a last minute trip to Florida. Since DQ already had plans to be away all weekend that left just Stinkette and I to hang out because my baby girl was feeling very clingy.

So, although I finally started my New Years Sweater recently, this is as far as I've gotten. Seed stitch over 200+ stitches is no fun anyway. I'll bet it'll cruise along once I get past this. Thankfully the seed stitch is mostly confined to the band at the bottom and this is a bottom up sweater so I'll have the fun part at the yoke ahead of me to look forward to.


Here's the sock I've been working on lately. I like it quite a lot. The colors are way better than they look in this picture. I'm close to the toe and I hope finish and move on to sock two shortly. You'd think this sock (or the other one in my purse) would be finished by now. I take them with me everywhere I go.

Last weekend they came with me to shop for a dress for DQ to wear to a Sweet 16 party in 2 weeks. We found a killer dress. Three words - black, sequins, short. The socks were also with me when Stink and I saw The Blind Side (great flick) and when we did paint your own pottery.

See it isn't all drama! We still have fun.


Then there is this. After months away, the call of my hooks grew too loud to ignore. This is the Circle of Friends square. It is way too much fun to make these and I'm not sure I can stop.


Jan 19, 2010

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Songs You're Embarrassed to Like

What a great topic this is! I have some very strong opinions about music and I'm not shy about telling my girls or my husband to shut off whatever offends my tender ears. Emo crap! Sappy shit! Old man music! Ewwww. Of course my taste in music is stellar... except when it isn't and a quick tour of my iTouch would yeild some very embarrassing content like...

  1. Because I Got High by Afroman - chalk this one up to DQ's influence. Apparently it was big in their bunk last summer.
  2. High Enough by Damn Yankees - there's no good excuse for this one. Thank you Genius suggestions
  3. You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates - We finally got to watch (500) Days of Summer the other day and there it was straight out of the 80's.
  4. Escape by Enrique Iglesias -
  5. So Yesterday by Hilary Duff - I really should've kept this one to myself. How does one keep face after an admission like this?
  6. With You by Jessica Simpson - Or this?
  7. Loverboy - I've got Turn Me Loose and a few others on there.
  8. The Climb by Miley Cyrus - I actually like this song a lot but it's still a little embarrassing.
  9. Sister Christian by Night Ranger - They were the first band I ever saw in concert and old habits die hard.
  10. Tik Tok by Ke$ha - I told DQ this was crap. I still think it's true but no matter how bad it is I just can't this out of my head.

I am hanging my head in shame and vowing not to further infect my iTouch with crap. It deserves better.

Jan 15, 2010

ECF - Decorative Grass Edition

I took this picture way back in November of some grasses in front of my grandparents home. Would you believe it's in the middle of Queens, NY?
I was waiting for the right day to use it and, since DH is visiting my grandparents today, this seemed like the right time. I can't explain why but I really love this picture. I hope that you enjoy it too.

Have a great weekend - especially if yours, like mine, will be a long one.

Jan 14, 2010

Tried and True Slippers

I'm hoping that my timing on this post is correct and that the gift arrives the same day these slipper debut on the web. It would stink if I ruined the surprise.


After abandoning one gift project and enduring a crash and burn on the second, I decided to return to the tried and true for my third attempt at a gift for my S-I-L. These are the Mohair Ballet Slippers (minus the mohair) by Bev Galeskas. You may recall that I made DQ a pair of these about 2 years ago. She still loves hers so I just re-applied more Plasti-Dip to the soles.


For my S-I-L's slippers I chose a brighter color because she's a happy kind of person. It's Elann Peruvian Highland Wool in a color that may be Summer Fuscia. And I added a few little flowers using some left over Koigu from long ago socks.

Let's hope that she likes them.

Jan 13, 2010

The First or Last Finished Object - Slippers For Me!

As I closed out 2009 I was working madly on one lonely gift. At some point I realized that it was going to take longer to complete than I had planned so I switched gears and decided to make something else for this giftee. Slippers! Good plan - poor execution. There were issues with excess shrinkage and with distractions like... my own cold feet. So, while a certain package is winging its way to Indiana (Yes, I do know that Hanukkah was last month - what's your point?) I'll share the slippers I made for myself.


DSC_0969I first favorited the French Press Felted Slippers by Melynda Bernardi way back in October - before she even had the pattern out there. This pattern spoke to me. Want! Need! Must have! I can't explain why it took me so darn long to finally sit down with it.

These slippers are my second try at the pattern. The first ones were a pretty heathered gray but they were a bit over felted so they will go to Stinkette's friend who has the narrowest feet ever. Stinkette thinks this is great and wants to pick the buttons for them.

Anyway, I did a better job with my second try at the pattern. I used Elann Peruvian Highland Wool in a gorgeous color called Dark Indigo Heather. I really love this stuff. It's soft and pleasant to knit with and it felts like a dream.

The pattern itself was well-written and easy to follow but I'm not a huge fan of all the sewing up. At least I didn't have to worry about sewing it up neatly because felting hides a multitude of sins. I love felting!


These slippers are done - buttons have been attached and the sole has been coated with plasti-dip. They fit reasonably well and look very cute on my feet. I'll wear them and enjoy my nice toasty toes. I just wish they stayed on a wee bit better. I suppose that's the price of fashion. They'll look excellent falling off my feet.

So here's the question. If you do all the knitting in 2009 but you don't complete the finishing touches until 2010 then are they the first Finished Objects of 2010 or the last of 2009? Either way seems like a bit of a cheat.

Jan 11, 2010

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Best Movies You've Seen Lately

It is much easier to appreciate pretty pictures of snow when it's not quite as cold out.
Don't you think so?


When they ask about the Ten Best Movies You've Seen Lately I'm guessing they're talking about recent movies that you saw in the theatre and unfortunately I don't get to the movies nearly as often as I'd like to. Thankfully I choose carefully so most of what I see are winners. But still, the ten best? Add in a few I plan to see before the Oscars and you've got my year in movies.

  1. Up In The Air - Two words... George Clooney. I can't say that this was a really uplifting movie but it was entertaining with a worthwhile message and many parts made us laugh out loud.
  2. Away We Go - We laughed out loud at this one too and in the end we left feeling uplifted.
  3. Star Trek - I am really not a sci-fi fan at all but my dad was so this was all about nostalgia for me. Happily it was also unexpectedly good. I would even consider seeing a sequel.
  4. Sherlock Holmes - This was such a fun movie. Jude Law was good and Robert Downey Jr. was in top form. So much fun.
  5. Inglourious Basterds - I love warped and nobody does it better than Quentin Tarantino. The movie had a definite yuck factor but the story was good and Brad Pitt was so fun to watch.
  6. Adventureland - I saw this with DQ and she loved it. It wasn't a huge movie but it was pretty good.
  7. Duplicity - Julia Roberts is just about always fun to watch. So are caper flicks. Put the two together and I'm in.
  8. (500) Days of Summer - I really wanted to see this in the theatre but I missed it. Now it's sitting at home and as soon as I have a quiet moment I'll finally get to see it.
  9. Julie and Julia - I may be the last person who hasn't seen this one but I will. Meryl Streep and food equals WIN!
  10. The Blind Side - This sounds too good to miss. Who knows, maybe Stinkette and I will go see it this weekend.


IMG_2989[1]How can it be Monday again? It seems like I lost a whole weekend somewhere. One minute it was Friday night and I was playing Bingo with Stinkette at her school and the next minute it was time to wake up for work. Oh well. At least my girl won a movie prize pack at Bingo. Tickets and treats! She was so happy.

Anyway, now it's Monday again and I'm wondering if it's too soon to start counting down to Friday and if I can avoid frostbite this week. It's way too cold out there.

At least my feet should be warm. I've finally put the finishing touches on my new slippers and some for someone else and there are 2 socks and a sweater making ok progress.

Jan 8, 2010

Eye Candy Friday - The First Snow of 2010

It snowed again last night. Not as long or as intensely as the last time but just enough to look pretty. Perfect for Eye Candy Friday.


Enjoy your weekend!

Jan 7, 2010

Mitts For Me - Finished in '09

Did I ever show you these? Reading Carole's post yesterday reminded me that I had never gotten around to showing these fingerless gloves off even though they've been finished since October!


Part of the delay in posting these is that I had to wait for a good day to take pictures. Finally we had a day with sun when DQ could fit in a few moments in front of the camera.


Then Stinkerbelle crashed the photo shoot. I guess she was happy to have DQ around too.


But I digress. These gloves were made from the Susie's Reading Mitts pattern by Janelle Masters in yet more DIC Classy (Night Watch is the color). I love these gloves and I wear them often. If I made another pair I'd probably make the thumb a stitch or 2 larger but that's a very minor thing.


Jan 6, 2010

Nothing Finished or Started.

Please imagine pictures of finished items or the start of my New Years sweater in this space. Instead all I have to offer is a ball of pretty red yarn because the finished items are not quite finished and my plans for the New Years sweater have changed.


I thought that this yarn would become Eris. I bought both the yarn and the pattern about 2 years ago and it's been marinating in my stash and at the edge of my consciousness ever since. With excitement I pulled it out on January 1st and started reading the instructions. I never got beyond that point. This yarn is not destined to be Eris. Not only that, but I'm not sure I'll ever make Eris. The more I looked at the finished sweaters on Ravelry, the more I realized that I just wasn't feeling it. Like I said in yesterday's post, my goal is to carefully consider the projects I choose to dedicate my time to and this just isn't it.

I am still feeling the yarn though. Literally. It's Shelridge Farm and I keep taking it out and pettting it. It's soooo yummy.

After looking through countless patterns for cardi's and buying a book full of them I think I've settled on a Drops pattern creatively named 113-17. I think it's a better fit and it'll make me far happier. Now I just need to find the time to cast on. Maybe after I put the finish to those afore-mentioned objects.

Jan 5, 2010

2010 on Tuesday

There's no official Ten on Tuesday topic as far as I know so this seems the perfect opportunity to recap the year that was and make a few plans for the year that will be.

Knitwise, the high points of the past year would have to be Bruce's scarf which he wanted and loves, the kipot for DQ's Bat Mitzvah, , the socks for my grandfather, the NaKniSweMo sweater for DQ, and finally finishing That Damn Vest. All of those represented challenges or made the recipient really happy or both. They'll stand out in my memory for quite some time.

I completed other stuff too. Among the gallery of 42 items I finished in 2009 are 5 hats, 2 lace shawls, 3 baby dresses, and 14 pairs of socks. Not bad but I also added to the list of UFO's. I'm not super happy about that but I'm not obsessing over it either. Better to look ahead to the knitting that will be.


Here are a few goals for 2010. I'm trying to be realistic.

1. Finish more UFO's - I don't promise to finish all of them but if I could bring 3 or 4 to fruition it would be good. I'm sure that Bruce's socks and blue & yellow blob will cross the finish line soon. Loppem and my beaded Juno Regina are likely as well. Beyond those we'll see.

2. Do a little Fair Isle - I've done it before and I'm no good at it but I know that practice would help. I'm thinking that mittens might be good. Small and not intimidating.

3. Try steeking - This kind of goes with #2. KP had a kit for a steeked laptop cover a while back and I'm still kicking myself for not getting it. Steeking plainly scares the shit out of me but I think that being able to do it would open up possibilities for some cool knitting.

4. Make more socks - I think that 18-20 pair would be cool and do-able too. In all fairness there are multiple reasons for this lofty goal - family, family, family. Suddemly my girls would like to wear nothing but handknit socks (Stinkette even tries to sneak the same pair onto her feet over and over until I wash her others - ewwww, stinky.) Not only that but a few family members have been dropping hints and making direct requests. I'm happy to oblige!

5. Be more careful about my pattern/yarn choices - I really need to become more of a thoughtful knitter. This is especially important since I'm feeling a sweater knitting vibe lately.

6. Design a wrap - I don't care for triangular shawls and I find that most wraps are just one motif from start to finish. I want wraps with a bit of excitement. I've been thinking about this a lot and the Alpine Lace Shawl that I made in 2008 is one of my most favorite pieces. Keeping track of the motifs and having no rest row made it so engaging. I want to feel that challenged again.

The next goals are stash related. As usual, I find myself looking at the stash and feeling like it's a little out of control. I'm not sure that I can realistically see myself reducing it much. I know myself better than that. But I do think I can get it under control a but.

7. Try to limit most purchases to events - visiting a new yarn store on vacation is an event. Rhinebeck and MDS&W are also events. I can't say that I won't buy anything on other occasions but I want to try to limit the just because I want it purchases a bit.

8. Buy with a purpose and write it down - I really want to limit my purchases and stop the impulse buys but I know that they're going to happen. There will always be yars I can't resist. A more realistic goal is to limit my purchases of heavier weight yarns to what is needed for a specific pattern and when I make those purchases I need to catalog them and the intended project in Ravelry. Use the tool for all it offers.

9. Spin some of the accumulated fiber - I just need to get back to spinning in general.

10. Knit more of the stuff in my queue - I've already bought the yarn for most of the projects in my queue so if I knit from my queue it ought to reduce the stash in a really satisfying way.

That's it. A loose list of goals for 2010. What are your goals?

Jan 4, 2010

Blown Away

Happy New Year to You all and Happy Blogiversary to me. As of last Friday this blog is 4 years old.

It was a wicked cold weekend here. Not just cold but cold with wild winds that shook the house and made you so happy to be inside. It didn't bother me much when we attended a party at a friend's house on New Years Eve. It didn't bother me when I was home in my pjs drinking tea and knitting all day Friday. It didn't even bother me much when I ran out to do an errand or 2 on Saturday. It was all rather lazy and good.

Then on Saturday night reality set in along with panic. I am going to learn to ski in this wind. I hate the cold. I am way too old and out of shape to learn to ski. I am going to die a very cold death on the mountain tomorrow. Insert expletives here. I did.


I am happy to say that I didn't chicken out and hide in the lodge although I fully expected to. I bundled up and took my lesson with DQ and her friend. My legs protested and we all fought hard not to be blown away but at the end of the lesson we proceeded to the lifts... and skied all day long!


Shockingly, I don't suck at skiing! As long as my old, out of shape body stayed upright I did really well. I can turn pretty well, slow myself down well and I only fell twice. Once because someone got in my way so I totally think that wasn't my fault. And the second was when we got overly ambitious and tried a much twistier and longer trail for our last run of the day. That was a mistake.

Both falls had the same result. I needed help getting up. How embarrassing is that? The first time it was DQ and 2 of her friends, all girl scouts, who came to my aid.


I have wanted to go skiing since I was about DQ's age. I am so excited and proud of myself for finally getting out there. Even though I am achy beyond belief and feeling muscles I never felt before - DQ and I want to go again. Not a bad start to the year at all.